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Fatima is world renowned for its shrine and the miracle of Fatima that happened in 1914. Today it is a center of pilgrimage in May and October and it is the religious complex that dominates the town.

The town of Fatima is well placed to explore the gorgeous limestone countryside at the Serras de Aire e Candeeiros nearby as well as the fantastic UNESCO World Heritage Sites at Tomar, Batalha and Alcobaça.

The Miracle of Fatima

The popularity of Fatima steams from a 20th century miracle in which 3 secrets were portrayed to three children who have become known as the children of Fatima. On 13th May 1917 three shepherd’s children from Fatima, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta, claim to have seen an apparition of the Virgin. Only 10-year-old Lucia could hear what she said and her request was that they should return on the 13th of each month for the next six months. The word spread and by 13 October 70.000 devotees had gathered. The Miracle of Sun is what the following events became known. The sun whirled like a wheel of fire, followed by miraculous cure of the disabilities and illnesses suffered by some of the spectators.

The Virgin appeared again in 1925, 1926 and 1929 with messages relating to World War I and the need for prayer to bring peace. The third message Lucia was given remained a secret and was only known by successive popes until 2000 when during an emotional ceremony in which pope John Paul II beatified Jacinta and Francisco (who both died in childhood), he revealed the third message. It had been a prophetic vision written down by Lucia that predicted an attempt on the Pope’s life in 1981. At the time of the attempt the Pope had mysteriously commented that Our Lady of Fatima had saved his life and after he recovered he had the bullet welded into the crown of the Virgin’s statue in Fatima.

Fatima Sanctuary and Shrine

Fatima has become a focal point for Catholic pilgrimage with four millions pilgrims journeying to Fatima every year. The Sanctuary Complex includes the Basilica, a prayer area, the Chapel of Apparitions, the Our Lady of Suffering Retreat, the Our lady of rest Retreat, the Our lady of Carmel retreat and the Paul VI Pastoral Centre. The shrine is visited by a constant stream of devotees paying tribute bringing with them an almost tangible atmosphere of belief. It  is at its most dramatic during the key dates in the calendar: 12-13 May and 12-13 October when millions of pilgrims arrive in Fatima to commemorate the first apparitions.
The shrine is built on the location where the apparitions occurred at Cova da Iria east of the A1 motorway. What were the fields is now dominated by one kilometre long esplanade dominated by he impressive white basilica. It was built in 1953 and is reminiscent of St Peter’s in Rome. The esplanade is twice the size of St Peter’s and pilgrims have even been know to cross it on their knees in penance for their prayers to cure a loved one. The Chapel of the Apparitions marks the actual sport where the apparitions occurred. This is obviously a main focal point for devotees who offer flowers and light candles. There is a fire by the chapel in which people can throw offerings on the fire. Any usable offerings left at the end of the day are collected by chapel workers who use the profits for charity.

Inside the basilica the white purity of the shrine is echoed. There are fifteen altars dedicated to the fifteen mysteries of the rosary. The tombs of Francisco and Jacinta who died in the flu epidemic at the ages of 10 and 10 are a focal point within the basilica. Lucia entered in a Carmelite convent in Coimbra and remained there for the rest of her life. Sadly she passed away in 2005 at the age of 97. Throughout her life, her story was challenged by sceptics and criticism of the church ensued when it became clear she had been under an imposition of silence and was not allowed to see anyone but close relatives. The imposition of silence was in place until her death with only the Pope able to permit her to break the silence. She continued to write private letters and diaries throughout her life. Controversially Lucia of Fatima was permitted to receive a visit from the director of “The Passion of Christ”, Mel Gibson during lent in 2004.

Fatima Town

The town’s history get somewhat overshadowed by the Fatima Apparitions, but it does date back to Moorish occupation. The green-towered castle was originally Moorish but was conquered in 1148 by Dom Afonso Henriques. It now houses exhibitions and is free to enter. Open May-Sep, Tue-Sun 10am to 12.30pm and from 2 to 6 pm. From October to May it opens until 5 pm. This is not  to be confused with Ourem castle which sometimes gets called Fatima Castle. This is an impressive 13th century castle within walled ramparts high up on the hill above Ourem. The castle, as well as the old part of the town, was partially destryoyed in the 1755 earthquake.

The Tourist Information Centre is in the public gardens on Avenida D. José Alves Correia da Silva, 2495-402 Fatima. Tel: 351 249 531 139. Opens May-Sep, Tue- Sun, 10am to 1 pm and 3-7 pm. You can get free 15m worth of internet

Museu de Cera (Fátima)
Relata as aparições de Fátima em 31 cenas compostas por 113 figuras de cera.
Rua Jacinta Marto, Fátima
Tel: 249 539 300
Fax: 249 539 301

Inverno-10H00 às 17H00;
Verão-9H30 às 18H30.
Opens daily.

Museu das Aparições de Fátima
Recria as aparições de Fátima e a mensagem de N.ª Senhora aos pastorinhos, protagonizada por figuras animadas e registos áudio projectados em 6 línguas. 

R. Jacinta Marto, Edifício João Paulo II
Tel: 249 532 858.

Inverno: 9H00 às 18H00; 
Verão: 9H00 às 19H00. 
Abre diariamente.

Museu de Arte Sacra e Etnologia
Este Museu, dos Missionários da Consolata, reúne uma vasta colecção de arte sacra portuguesa e de etnografia de vários países do mundo, com elevado interesse artístico e cultural. 
Relata, no seu percurso, a história de Cristo e das Missões, levando o visitante a encontrar-se com os mistérios da fé cristã e o caminho do Evangelho através dos 5 continentes. 
Na Sala dos Pastorinhos, estão expostas as relíquias dos beatos Francisco e Jacinta Marto. 

10h00-19h00 (Abril-Outubro) 
10h00-17h00 (Novembro-Março) 
Encerra à segunda-feira 

Visitas guiadas para grupos em várias línguas (Marcação prévia) 

Museu de Arte Sacra e Etnologia 
Missionários da Consolata 
Morada: Rua Francisco Marto, 52, Apt 5 – 2496-908 FÁTIMA 
Tel.: +351 249 539 470 
Fax: +351 249 539 479 
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  
URL: www.consolata.pt


Tia Alice
Address: Rua do Adro, 152, 2495-557 Fátima
Tel: 351 249 531 737
Fax: 351 249 534 370
Open from 12am to 3pm and from 7.30 to 10pm
Closed on Mondays and Sundays at dinner. July for vacations

Traditional dishes combined with modern decoration.

Mestre Alfredo

Address: Rua de São Paulo 25, 2495-435 FÁTIMA
Tel: 351 249 532 544
Closed on Mondays

Traditional dishes with a very attentive service

Sabores do Museu
Address: Edifício Vida de Cristo Porticus galerias loja 20 – Fátima
Tel: 351 913 418 080
Opened from 11.30am to 4.30pm and from 6.30pm to 12am